Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)
Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine California (1944)
Gelatin silver print, 15 x 19 3/16”
Gift of Kenneth Hanson, 2014.1.2
Adams’ photography was deeply entwined with his advocacy for environmental conservation. Of this photograph, he wrote, “I have often thought what a privilege it would be to live and work in this environment, perhaps best before the turn of the century when the efforts of man brought more beauty to the land than now, with our pavements, wires, contrails, and desolation. This photograph suggests a more agreeable past and may remind us that, with a revived dignity and reverence for the earth, more of the world might look like this again.”
Flat rises to rugged, Dark rises to light. All of biology is trivialized by the grand sublime majesty of the mountains. This image results from the bottom half of the Earth system, the geothermal powerhouse that created the granite by melting mud, lifted that granite upward to make high peaks, and steamed out Earth’s water so that this scene could be dusted by snow. The steeper eastern side of the Sierras lurches toward the sunrise.